Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: The life history of Chelymorpha alternans (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) in Panamá


Morrison, Colin R.; Windsor, Donald M. (2018), Data from: The life history of Chelymorpha alternans (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) in Panamá, Dryad, Dataset,


Here we describe an investigation of the life history characteristics, behavior, immature and adult morphologies of the Neotropical tortoise beetle Chelymorpha alternans (Boheman; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) from the Republic of Panamá. Developmental times and behavioral characteristics for individuals maintained under laboratory and field conditions are evaluated. Survival rates of individuals maintained under field and laboratory conditions are compared. A list of convolvulaceous host plants utilized by C. alternans is provided. Empirical studies investigating the biology of C. alternans are reviewed. This study contributes to our knowledge of quantitative and qualitative aspects of this species’ biology. These findings demonstrate that C. alternans is an organism that develops, behaves, and interacts with host plants, much as other tortoise beetles do. Rigorous, multi-year investigation of this ecologically representative species has produced a comparative life history description that expands our knowledge of general Cassidinae and Coleoptera biology. The natural history background, life history descriptions, diet breadth information, and literature review provided in this contribution make a compelling case for continued utilization of C. alternans as a representative tortoise beetle species for a variety of field and laboratory based studies in plant–insect interactions, chemical ecology, natural enemy ecology, and phenotypic trait and diet breadth evolution.

Usage Notes